Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2019

Monster Engine

Monster Engine
Photo by Christopher Burns via Unsplash.

Tony is dead, all three hundred something pounds of him.
He did it himself.
In shock, in pajamas, with arms tightly crossed,
Jess asks if one month’s rent
can now count as two. “Okay?”
Her husband dead, what can I say?

We bring Tony back for questioning.
He sits forward on the sofa, dark circles
beneath his eyes and in the shadows
between his clasped fingers.
He wears his work shirt, blue button down
with his name sewn on the breast.

“Why did you do it?” I ask.
“Every day was the same,” he says.
“And I was always at the factory.”
I nod. Too much work, no time for music.
Even suicide is an art to prevent
a life wasted on machines.

Then, speak of the devil, beep, the truck unlocks.
Five thirty a.m. and Tony is going to work.
I think he likes his job, I tell myself,

as his monster engine revs and he backs out.
I roll over and hug my pillow.
I always sleep always better when he’s gone.